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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Cinnamon  is a small evergreen tree 1015 meters (32.849.2 feet) tall, belonging to the family Lauraceae, and is native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • There are many different species, between 50 and 250, depending on which botanist you choose to believe. The two main varieties are Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • The bark is widely used as a spice due to its distinct odour. The leaves are ovate-oblong in shape, 718 cm (2.757.1 inches) long. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color, and have a distinct odor. The fruit is a purple one-centimetre berry containing a single seed.

Cultivation

  • Cinnamon is harvested by growing the tree for two years and then coppicing it.
  • The inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree, harvested during the rainy season when piable and then dried into curls sold as sticks or ground into a powder.
  • The plant is harvested during the wet season because  the rains facilitate the peeling of the bark.
  • Harvesting involves the removal of the stems then after 24 hours drying, the outer bark and inner lining are scraped off.

Uses

  • Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material, being largely used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts, chocolate, spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa and liqueurs.
  • It is used in curries and pilaus and in garam masala. It may be used to spice mulled wines, creams and syrups.
  • It is commonly used in cakes and other baked goods, milk and rice puddings, chocolate dishes and fruit desserts, particularly apples and pears.

Market

  • Sri Lanka commands about 60% of the world export market, and exports about 7,000 tonnes of quills and chips per year.
  • India produces very small amounts of leaf oil for domestic use.
  • For cinnamon and cassia oils of international commerce, production of oil is secondary to the production of the spice.

  • The major producers of cinnamon are Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Malagasy Republic.

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